Former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden fractures neck bone while surfing

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Former Australian international cricketer Matthew Hayden has said he “truly dodged a bullet” after suffering neck injuries while surfing in Queensland.

The 46-year-old, who retired in 2009, was on a family holiday in Queensland when he fractured a vertebrae in his spine and also tore ligaments in his neck, as well as suffering a bloodied forehead.

He had been surfing with his son Josh off Stradbroke Island on Friday when he was knocked off his board by a wave, landing on his head.

In an Instagram post on Sunday night, accompanied by a picture of him in a neck brace, he wrote: “Last attention seeking post, I promise. Just wanted to say a big thank you to all our mates on Straddie who have been so supportive. Especially Ben & Sue Kelley for the fast diagnosis with MRI, CT scan. Fractured C6, torn C5,C4 ligaments safe to say I truly have dodged a bullet. Thank you everyone. On the road to recovery.”

In a post on Saturday alongside a picture showing abrasions on his forehead, he wrote: “Took on Straddie back bank yesterday with @josh_hayden28 and lost!!! Game over for a few days.”

Hayden explained what happened to the Courier Mail newspaper.

Matthew Hayden in action for Australia in 2008  Former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden fractures neck bone while surfing skynews matthew hayden australia 4447099
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Matthew Hayden in action for Australia in 2008

“It was an hour into the session and we had had half dozen waves together and I got this one right-handed wave which I sort of ducked under and that is pretty much all I can remember,” he said.

“I wasn’t knocked out. I was speared into the top of the sandbank on to the top of my head. Then it twisted my head with my own weight and the weight of the wave. I heard this god almighty click in my neck. I did not get knocked out but I sort of came to and rolled up on my back,” he added.

Hayden, an avid surfer and sailor, was on a boat that capsized during a fishing trip in 2000.

Matthew Hayden collects the 2017 Allan Border Medal in Sydney  Former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden fractures neck bone while surfing skynews matthew hayden cricket 4447097
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Matthew Hayden collects the 2017 Allan Border Medal in Sydney

He and two companions, including former Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds, eventually swam a kilometre to shore.

Hayden played 273 internationals for Australia between 1994 and 2008, scoring just over 15,000 runs.

In 2003 he made a then-record Test match high score of 380 against Zimbabwe.



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